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Some 50,000 migrants landed at Lampedusa port last year

Social agencies say journalists must better understand issue

19 November, 17:12
Some 50,000 migrants landed at Lampedusa port last year (ANSA) - Racalmuto (Agrigento), November 19 - As many as 50,000 immigrants landed in the Sicilian port of Lampedusa last year, illustrating a phenomena that the Italian population and media should better understand, social agencies said on Monday.

"In 2011, in Lampedusa, 50,000 people landed," Francesca Ferrandino, the prefect of Agrigento, told a seminar on the issue of immigration and the media.

"This phenomenon...is much larger and more complex...(and) much more complicated than it appears," said Ferrandino.

As important as tallying the numbers, is remembering that the story involves individuals and families, said Valentina Loiero, president of the Charter of Rome, an organization dedicated to improving the way the media sees and speaks of immigrants.

She said journalists should refrain from using the term "illegal" when speaking of such immigrants.

"These are people who need to be helped and protected," she said. Refugees risk their lives coming to Italy, added Laura Boldrini, spokesperson for the Italy office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

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